Somehow people think that when the formalities start, everyone will be able to instantly switch to a kind of spiritual gear--something like turning on a light switch. It is remarkable how this notion has permeated our assemblies. But this is not at all possible, and anyone that supposes it is, seriously lacks perception. There is such a stark contrast between flesh and Spirit, that a transition between the two cannot easily occur. Flesh stifles the Spirit, and the Spirit suppresses the flesh. They cannot have dominance simultaneously, and are in unrelenting opposition to one another. Anyone imagining you can leap-frog between the two is simply wrong, and critically so!

Candidly, I am alarmed at the number of people that think they can speak together of everything from sports to politics, quickly shifting into a spiritual gear at the sound of a note of "worship music," or an arresting summons from the "worship leader." Such rapid transitions are not possible, and those that suppose they have accomplished such a feat only deceive themselves.

Israel was commanded by God to prepare to meet Him at Sinai. They had to wash their clothes, preparing for the "third day" when God would meet with them. Husbands even had to refrain from intimacies with their wives (Ex. 19:10-14). I am not for one moment suggesting that regimented procedures should be imposed on the people for preparing for the Lord's day. I am saying that what happened at Sinai confirms that you cannot quickly come into God's presence, unprepared and overcome with the cares of this life. It is time for sobriety and spiritual alertness when we approach God!